Circo Copia Performance

Two members of Circo Copia performed for adults and kids alike at Fitzgerald’s Park yesterday during the Lord Mayor’s Picnic. Have you ever seen someone balance an umbrella on his forehead and play the mandolin at the same time? I have! This crazy bunch of performers had the crowd well entertained!

They’re playing in the Spiegeltent later in the month so if you didn’t catch them yesterday you have another chance. I spotted a Cork Circus van nearby so I’m pretty sure they’re part of that. Also, I think the face in the background belongs to the tall fella in these pictures of my wife and her “royal retinue”. I think the woman sticking her tongue out in the linked post was the 3rd member of Circo Copia yesterday. :)

Aperture ƒ/6.3
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 200mm
ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/500s

Lord Mayor of Cork, Donal Counihan

The Lord Mayor’s Picnic in Fitzgerald’s Park, Cork was a roaring success today to judge by the number of parents and kids who congregated in the area. All the stalls did a healthy trade with lines 20 long for many hours. Here’s The Lord Mayor of Cork, Donal Counihan, as he walked about. The smoke in the background is from some of the stalls that were preparing freshly cooked meats!

I went walking with Adam and my sister and wandered about for a bit. There’s was a great Brazilian band playing near the museum. People and kids were dancing and having a great time. Even Adam started dancing in my arms, and couldn’t tear his eyes away from the stage such was his interest in them! I haven’t a clue who they were but I suspect the rhythmic drum beating would lose it’s charm once played too many times to keep a child amused ..

Gallery post to follow, maybe tomorrow. Fairly exhausted now.

PS. Thank you if you responded to yesterday’s post about neighbours burning rubbish. We’re still not sure what to do yet.

Aperture ƒ/6.3
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 88mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/125s

This is poisoning my son

ash from burned plastic

A few days ago, in the middle of the day, I noticed a smell of burning plastic wafting in the open window of my home office. I looked outside and saw small flecks of black soot or ash tumbling to the ground. When I rushed downstairs and investigated, I discovered a thick plume of noxious smoke coming from a neighbour’s chimney. The little flecks of ash are so fine that the merest touch turns them into black smears.

Burning rubbish seems to be a common enough practice where I live in Blarney, Co. Cork. It hasn’t happened as often in the last few months as in previous years, maybe because of stricter surveillance of backyard burning. When it was at it’s height, I jokingly considered campaigning for an incinerator to be located in Blarney. At least that could properly trap all the toxins released by burning rubbish and it would be regulated.

Anyway, I decided that I need to speak to my neighbour. I politely asked them to stop burning rubbish in their fireplace, I mentioned that there was soot all over the patio in our garden, and that it had wafted into the house through open windows too. They were suitably apologetic, promising that it wouldn’t happen again. That’s as far as I took it, because I like that neighbour. He’s a nice guy and his wife is a warm woman with a ready smile.

Imagine my shock this morning when I looked out the kitchen door and say soot all over the patio again. Someone had been burning rubbish last night. What do I do now?

My son Adam sleeps in a bedroom overlooking the back garden. His window was closed last night because of the chill, but if it’s warm, then it’s open. According to this article I should be very worried about what my son breathes.

Children can be at much greater risk. Because of their body size, they inhale more air per pound of body mass than do adults, and can absorb a proportionately larger “dose” of toxins.

Children’s bodies are more susceptible to damage from the heavy metals found in the smoke of rubbish fires because their nervous systems are not fully developed. Poly-Vinyl Chloride, or PVC, is a commonly used plastic for vinyl flooring (sometimes called carpeting or lyno), drain pipes, guttering, shampoo bottles, packaging, and thousands of other products.

Apparently 57% of rural dwellers in West Cork burn their rubbish. That’s 5 out of every 12 households. Blarney is an urban area however with a regular waste collection. Quentin Gargan has a blog post on this and gorse burning. Here’s the Irish Examiner article he mentioned. A note from Cork Corporation reminds residents that burning rubbish is illegal:

Cork City Council wishes to draw attention to the fact that under the Waste Management Act 1996 as amended that it is an offence to dispose of waste in a manner which causes or is likely to cause environmental pollution.

The disposal of household and garden waste by burning is one such method of disposal that is deemed likely to cause environmental pollution and furthermore is a source of annoyance to persons in the adjoining locality.

I have no idea who burned the rubbish that caused the soot in my garden this morning. I could presume it was the same neighbour but there isn’t any proof. I could stay up all night, with a window open, ready to catch the tell tale odour of burning plastic. Or I could call the Cork County Council litter warden.

Besides the obvious damage burning rubbish does to your health, this may also lead to neighbours falling out and fighting. If the same neighbour is responsible, they have put me and my wife in the unenviable position of having to fight this illegal behaviour. If this turns bad for them, if they’re fined, they’re going to blame us even though it’s their fault in the first place. No wonder people don’t report their neighbours.

What would you do?

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 72mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/160s

Spikey Cactus

spikey cactus

Cacti are probably an everyday sight for people living in desert regions, but I look out the window of my office and all I see are lush green trees, an overcast sky and the threat of another shower of rain. They’re an exotic plant for me to see out growing in the open.

They also make for great black and white subjects as the spikes leave great long shadows against the low January sun. Expect more of these in the next few weeks!

A previous spikey photo is a lot different, and creepier!

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/160s

No. 2400

No. 2400

At Biosphere 2 in Arizona the land around the main building was sold to developers to fund the experiment and for maintenance. Unfortunately all the houses there looked very empty, but maybe that was because it was in January and in the off season.

Aperture ƒ/9
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/250s

Red Lantern

red lantern

A lantern with red glass sides sits on the window sill of the restaurant in the Quay Coop, Sullivan’s Quay in Cork. In the background is Halifax Bank which I have photographed previously.

Processed shots from the photowalk in Doneraile will take a while to do. Still catching up after the day out yesterday!

Aperture ƒ/5.6
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 106mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/250s

Windswept Cliff

Windswept Cliff

Rough grass clings to the headland near Mizen Head in West Cork as waves crash on the cliffs far below. On the day I took this it was a lovely warm, sunny day, but I Love the effect black and white has on this scene. It sends a chill through me looking at it, especially the original full size image.

Looking forward to the Doneraile photowalk tomorrow. I hope this nice sunny weather holds. The sun isn’t overbearing, and the sky is interesting with wispy clouds. As I said before, if you’re not sure you’ll make it for 3pm, get in touch and I’ll email you my phone number. My wife and I are bringing a small picnic, sandwiches and a flask for tea so bring some food if you think you’ll be peckish!

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/200s